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Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival

Deas Divas – July 8 – 10, 2011

Exhilarating, inspiring, hilarious, exhausting, fun, emotional, jubilation, glee, frivolity, camaraderie, spirit, strength, determination, guts and glory!

What a fabulous weekend culminating in a medal which was just the icing on the cake, the cherry on top! Patricia and Jane – thank you for all your hard work and dedication.

Our waterfront accommodations served us just fine and a huge thanks to Ysa for getting us a place to lay our heads at night. We had a delightful 15 minute walk to the race site along the waterfront. The weather cooperated with sunshine both days.

Friday night we donned our Caribbean hats and costumes for the Survivor Dinner – quite a colourful bunch as you can see from the picture. As dusk approached, a bagpiper led us to the water’s edge where we lit candles and set them afloat.

We had time to enjoy the sunshine on our balcony Saturday morning before walking to the race site for our first race at 11:40 am. The water was pretty rough and the start abrupt, but as always, with Elisabeth steering us, all went well and we managed a time of 2:46:92. Our second race at 3:30 pm was 2:43:27. Saturday evening we partied it up in true Diva style with appies, then an early end to the evening since we were up early.

Sunday morning our first race was at 8:20 am and our time was 2:42:55. Do you see a pattern here? We are getting faster each race! This last race advanced us to Women’s Gold Final A at 2:10 pm, but before that, we had the Breast Cancer Challenge Race.

There were ten teams and we were the only original breast cancer survivor dragon boat team. We came in fifth. It was a beautiful flower ceremony and as usual, memories, tears and emotions ran through the boats. As we came off the dock, the arch of paddles and supporters seemed to stretch forever, a pretty special and emotional moment for us all I suspect.

Back to serious business at 2:10 pm with our finals race – Elisabeth in a rare moment urging us on with “You can win this”! From the shore our manager, Dianne was jumping up and down, shouting: “My team”! We came in third with a time of 2:39:55 – an improvement of 7.37 seconds from our first race on Saturday!

We had time before the ferry for a cool one in the beer garden where we danced around with our medals like lunatics!

So many smiles and laughs in one weekend. We missed our fellow team mates unable to join us. Thank you Cathy, Gail, Marcia, Neoma, Sandy and Tracey for joining the Divas for the regatta and to Debbie for coming along to support us.

In closing, I’ll join the love fest – you are an amazing group of women – it’s been an amazing season.
Go Divas! Paddles Up!

Captain Jenny (Wenman)

Team pose with the Bronze Medal